Singtel Group launches Asia Pacific e-sports league
By Digital News Asia July 11, 2018
- Inaugural tournament will feature mobile game Arena of Valor and PC game Dota 2
- Event to feature Blizzard’s 2018 Hearthstone global tour
THE Singtel Group on July 10 announced that it will kick off its e-sports initiative with the launch of PVP eSports Championship, a multi-title and regional league with a prize pool of US$300,000.
This is part of the group’s efforts to grow its gaming and digital content business across its footprint in the Asia Pacific region.
To be held in Singapore from Oct 5 to 7, the PVP eSports Championship signals the Singtel Group’s ambition to foster a vibrant e-sports ecosystem and community together with Optus and regional associates Airtel, AIS, Globe and Telkomsel.
“Telcos have every right, and the assets, to play in the growing gaming ecosystem and we want to engage the largely millennial consumers across our regional footprint,” said Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group.
“Mobile-based games, in particular, have gained a strong following in this region where the mobile phone is the main gaming device of choice. With the group’s robust broadband and mobile networks as well as reach across Southeast Asia, India and Australia with over 600 million subscribers, we are excited to build a vibrant e-sports ecosystem that will provide gamers and fans access to original and exciting content. We look forward to take gaming to the next level with our partners.”
Through the league, the group will organise e-sports activities and provide content, building on the initiatives by Globe in the Philippines, Telkomsel in Indonesia and Singtel in Singapore which are actively promoting e-sports in their countries.
The group will leverage on its combined mobile customer base of over 600 million across the region, together with its telco assets and partnerships, to gain a slice of the growing eSports industry.
Partners industry players for regional league
PVP eSports Championship will be set up with e-sports industry players such as Razer, Blizzard, Garena and the Mineski Group through MET.
“The numbers don’t lie – e-sports is a rising force in entertainment eclipsing even movies and music,” said Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO.
“Razer has been a pioneer in pro-gaming for all of our existence, and as promised, we are now driving the future of e-sports across the region with forward-looking partners like Singtel.”
Asia Pacific is the world’s fastest growing region in terms of e-sports audience with numbers expected to climb to about 290 million by 2021 from 167 million in 2017.
As competitive video gaming pushes into the sporting mainstream, it is set to be included in the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta this August as a demonstration sport and is also being considered as a potential medal event in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
Singtel’s collaboration with Razer in the regional league follows a memorandum of understanding signed in May to foster strategic collaboration in the high-growth areas of e-payments, e-sports, gaming-related digital media and telecommunication services across Southeast Asia, India and Australia.
The PVP eSports Championship in Singapore is supported by Singapore Tourism Board (STB).
“We are pleased that the finals of the inaugural PVP eSports Championship will be held in Singapore,” said Carrie Kwik, executive director of Attractions, Entertainment & Tourism Concept Development.
“It will give regional e-sports fans another compelling reason to visit Singapore, as well as boost our status as an e-sports events hub in the region. We also expect it to further augment our range of quality events and reinforce Singapore’s reputation as a leading destination for entertainment.”
League features popular games
Organised by e-sports event organiser MET, the inaugural tournament will feature leading mobile game Arena of Valor and PC game Dota 2.
The Singapore stop of the global tour of game developer and publisher Blizzard’s popular game Hearthstone will also be part of the PVP eSports Championship.
"PVP eSports Championship is the first of its kind in the region to feature some of the most popular games among Asian gamers and a global pro stop for Blizzard’s Hearthstone Championship. In partnership with Optus and our regional associates, we anticipate drawing the region's top gamers and a dynamic audience to Singapore this October," added Lang.
Teams will compete at local qualifiers organised by the Singtel Group in Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.
Winning teams from each country will then move on to battle invited professional teams from North America, Europe and China at the PVP eSports Championship to be held in Singapore in October.
Singtel will also start a search for a home-grown Singapore team it can sponsor through this tournament, which it hopes to establish as part of the global circuit of annual e-sports competitions.
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